Chicho is pissed off again
Every now and then I run into a lengthy rant by the well known dancer Chicho Frumboli. After unintentionally inspiring an entire generation of dancers to act like circus acts on the dance floor, Chicho seems to have had some sort of epiphany because he keeps trying to ride out the storm that his adventures as a young transgressor helped create.
The latest manifesto landing on my desk informs us that Chicho keeps watching videos of great dancers “in the history of our tango… people who set the pace and marked styles, who defined milestones in the evolution of our dance…”
“I’m still learning,” he writes, “enjoying and wondering why those things are lost, why fashion and trends around the world are so empty?”
He reminds us that for years many professionals have given the best of their knowledge to many people everywhere… He seems to be incensed about the alleged rejection of Argentine DJs and professional dancers, by dancers and fashionable DJs in some European cities.
“I know, as an Argentino, how our personality is, sometimes good, sometimes not so good. But, how can anybody talk about or openly criticize a DJ or a pair of dancers…?” he asks. He would like to know who’s doing that and what are the basis for all the criticism. He asks, what knowledge they have to believe that there are better or worse DJs or dancers. “I don’t feel competent or able to decide who is good or who’s not,” he writes, “we are all learning, still learning.”
He sadly admits that many of the people who are against the tango, spent a lot of time taking classes with him, as well as with many other professionals. He now wonders if maybe it was a mistake to give out so much.
He reminds us of a well known fact. Nobody owns the tango, no one can appropriate this dance, and anybody who ignores that, is in for a big disappointment. Just as championships and competitions are promoting a cartoonish facsimile as Tango Argentino, European DJs (which for Chicho don’t meet the criteria he expects from tango DJs) present a tango from a very limited repertoire which is also not real.
Chicho addresses European dancers and DJs who know what he’s talking about, the selective ones, the critics, those who talk without knowing, those who teach after only a couple of months of taking lessons themselves, those who climb on a stage without being artists, those who want to become famous. For them, and those who lock themselves to dance for hours in a marathon shrouded by a complete vacuum, and those who decide on a style as a group tendency and exclude those who do not dance that style or are at that level, he says…
“Why don’t you open your minds, why don’t you keep on learning, why don’t you get informed, why don’t you share, why don’t you set an example, why don’t you make a contribution to the tango and do something for the tango instead of talking, talking, and talking???”
Wrapping it up, Chicho quotes a female friend who said that the tango is stronger than all of that, the tango is above any trend, fashion and style. The Argentine tango is not going to die no matter how hard they try to make it disappear. It’s been that way since 70, 50, and even 10 years ago… There is much dancing yet to be done, there is a lot yet to be discovered, there is still plenty to listen to.
“People, please open your mind!”